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Q:
If confronted with a Grizzly Bear and my only means of defense is a .44 magnum, what ammunition load would be best loaded in my gun

Question by glslfigueroa. Uploaded on November 17, 2009

Answers (19)

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from Damon619 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

don't worry about the load.. worry about the placement of the shot

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from rezavoirdog wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Any heavy, hollow point or rapid-expanding bullet should do! I think that bear spray may be a little faster, unless your name is Doc Holiday!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Federal Cast Core solid flat nose. Best penetration for bad bears, etc.....

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from Skeeb wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

What my dad usually uses, I'm not sure of the brand but they are hollow points. So like rezzy dog said just about any hollow point should do.

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from DakotaMan wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I would suggest 300 grain bullets of the type recommended by WA Mtnhunter since you will be very close and want the bear to absorb all the energy if possible. I would not expect a .44 Mag to stop an angry bear unless you hit him in the brain. They just don't have enough energy to bowl one over. Even with a heart shot, you can expect him to do a lot of clawing and chomping before he expires 20-30 seconds later. With a bit of anger and an adrenelin rush, he might come at you fast. A .44Mag is certainly better than bare hands but a better strategy might be to hunt with a buddy who runs slower than you do.

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from charlie elk wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Buffalo Bullets 360 or 420 grain.
Absolutely not hollow points penetration is not good with any hollow point and a 44 is a bit light for a mad grizz. But much better than pepper spray.

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from rezavoirdog wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I meant to not say Hollow Points, but Heavy, Penatrating Bullets! Bear spray is probably faster and shown to be more effective though. Try Grizzly Pistol Ammunition. I carried a .40 S&W, but I think it is too light, but had flattop Full Metal Jackets, and I figured that I could empty the clip on a bear if I had to.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Hopefully you never have to try your .40 S&W pea shooter on a PO'd griz.

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from babsfish4life wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

You have two hands, one for pepper spray and one for you handgun.

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from Jeff Bowers wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

The assumption of course, is that you will stay calm and collected, perhaps a bit of smile on your face, as the crazed bear charges while you take a stance to cooly deliver perfectly placed shots.

I would more like try my uncle's theory about facing a bear with only a pistol... "Shoot him in the legs as much as you can, then run like (heck)."

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from 007 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I've done a bit of reading and digging on this myself and according to respected sources like Bryce Towsley's writings, heavy weight hard cast bullets (300 grains plus) are the best way to go. If reloading, look to Winchester 296 or H110 powders.

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from charlie elk wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I meant Buffalo Bore bullets. If your 44 is a newer one and can handle them.
That 40 s&w up there would only really make him mad....really mad.
I'd try running first...at least running faster than my partner. As the old joke goes. ;-)

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from Greenhead wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Here in Alaska, the preferred round is a hard cast bullet around 300 grains. Federal makes a decent 300 grain, Cor-Bon a very nice 305, and Buffalo Bore a better 300. Even the best hollow points will not penetrate the very heavy muscle and bone of a grizzly. The hard cast bullets don't expand, but do offer the penetration necessary to hit vital organs and/or pierce the skull. A hollow point will do neither. Forget anything smaller than a .44 mag, and go bigger if you can handle it.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I agree that the solid, hard cast, bullet is the ticket for the best penetration on bear. Stay away from hollow points concerning Grizz...HPs are not designed for deep penetration on heavy boned animals.
As the story goes in another hunting magazine; A retired fish and game officer out west carried a S&W in .357mag with factory hollow points that he effectively dispatched a number of Black bears with over the years. Now this guy's got a good track record using hollow pts. , but Black bears are not GRIZZLY BEARS; stick to solids!

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from texasjohn wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Elmer Keith designed a bullet that would work nicely. Heavy, solid, hard-cast and flat-topped, especially for the .44. Still, a pistol is a little on the light side for a grizzly.

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from buffalo469 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Cor-Bon 305 Gr Flat Nose Penetrators or the equivalent from Buffalo Bore are the only rounds that I would carry in Bear country.

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from dangerous game wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

Check out the 340 grain buffalo bore heavy magnum
+p. It has 1478 muzzle velocity and 1649 pounds of energy. It will only work in ruger redhawks and super redhawks, ruger blawkhawks ruger vaqueros raging bull and There were a few more. This will go right through any bone in any animals body.

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from 230hardball wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

id use the heavyest..hard cast bullet..that you can find..like in the 300 grain area...you need penetration..on a grizzly..heavey muscle heavy hide.heavy bone..heavy critter.thats gonna want to kill you if you wound it...

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from Vince Warde wrote 8 weeks 4 days ago

I don't think you are going to stop a grizzly, brown or polar bear with any handgun unless you take out the brain or central nervous system. That said, my thoughts, for what they are worth, is that first and foremost you need to be able to hit the target. As long as the round has the ability to penetrate the skull. I would choose what I could shoot well.

Most of us spend more time shooting autos than revolvers. If you want to use a semi-auto that handles like your 9mm or .45, you are pretty much limited to a 10mm Glock or 1911. Yes, I know you could carry a Desert Eagle in .44 Magnum, but it is so big and heavy that it might be just as east to carry a long gun - which is probably the best way to go anyway...... but then again, there was that guy who stopped one by emptying a magazine of 230gs FMJs, so it comes back to putting at least one round in the right place.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Federal Cast Core solid flat nose. Best penetration for bad bears, etc.....

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I would suggest 300 grain bullets of the type recommended by WA Mtnhunter since you will be very close and want the bear to absorb all the energy if possible. I would not expect a .44 Mag to stop an angry bear unless you hit him in the brain. They just don't have enough energy to bowl one over. Even with a heart shot, you can expect him to do a lot of clawing and chomping before he expires 20-30 seconds later. With a bit of anger and an adrenelin rush, he might come at you fast. A .44Mag is certainly better than bare hands but a better strategy might be to hunt with a buddy who runs slower than you do.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Buffalo Bullets 360 or 420 grain.
Absolutely not hollow points penetration is not good with any hollow point and a 44 is a bit light for a mad grizz. But much better than pepper spray.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rezavoirdog wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I meant to not say Hollow Points, but Heavy, Penatrating Bullets! Bear spray is probably faster and shown to be more effective though. Try Grizzly Pistol Ammunition. I carried a .40 S&W, but I think it is too light, but had flattop Full Metal Jackets, and I figured that I could empty the clip on a bear if I had to.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Hopefully you never have to try your .40 S&W pea shooter on a PO'd griz.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from babsfish4life wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

You have two hands, one for pepper spray and one for you handgun.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I've done a bit of reading and digging on this myself and according to respected sources like Bryce Towsley's writings, heavy weight hard cast bullets (300 grains plus) are the best way to go. If reloading, look to Winchester 296 or H110 powders.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I meant Buffalo Bore bullets. If your 44 is a newer one and can handle them.
That 40 s&w up there would only really make him mad....really mad.
I'd try running first...at least running faster than my partner. As the old joke goes. ;-)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I agree that the solid, hard cast, bullet is the ticket for the best penetration on bear. Stay away from hollow points concerning Grizz...HPs are not designed for deep penetration on heavy boned animals.
As the story goes in another hunting magazine; A retired fish and game officer out west carried a S&W in .357mag with factory hollow points that he effectively dispatched a number of Black bears with over the years. Now this guy's got a good track record using hollow pts. , but Black bears are not GRIZZLY BEARS; stick to solids!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Damon619 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

don't worry about the load.. worry about the placement of the shot

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rezavoirdog wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Any heavy, hollow point or rapid-expanding bullet should do! I think that bear spray may be a little faster, unless your name is Doc Holiday!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Skeeb wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

What my dad usually uses, I'm not sure of the brand but they are hollow points. So like rezzy dog said just about any hollow point should do.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

The assumption of course, is that you will stay calm and collected, perhaps a bit of smile on your face, as the crazed bear charges while you take a stance to cooly deliver perfectly placed shots.

I would more like try my uncle's theory about facing a bear with only a pistol... "Shoot him in the legs as much as you can, then run like (heck)."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greenhead wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Here in Alaska, the preferred round is a hard cast bullet around 300 grains. Federal makes a decent 300 grain, Cor-Bon a very nice 305, and Buffalo Bore a better 300. Even the best hollow points will not penetrate the very heavy muscle and bone of a grizzly. The hard cast bullets don't expand, but do offer the penetration necessary to hit vital organs and/or pierce the skull. A hollow point will do neither. Forget anything smaller than a .44 mag, and go bigger if you can handle it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from texasjohn wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Elmer Keith designed a bullet that would work nicely. Heavy, solid, hard-cast and flat-topped, especially for the .44. Still, a pistol is a little on the light side for a grizzly.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buffalo469 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Cor-Bon 305 Gr Flat Nose Penetrators or the equivalent from Buffalo Bore are the only rounds that I would carry in Bear country.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dangerous game wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

Check out the 340 grain buffalo bore heavy magnum
+p. It has 1478 muzzle velocity and 1649 pounds of energy. It will only work in ruger redhawks and super redhawks, ruger blawkhawks ruger vaqueros raging bull and There were a few more. This will go right through any bone in any animals body.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 230hardball wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

id use the heavyest..hard cast bullet..that you can find..like in the 300 grain area...you need penetration..on a grizzly..heavey muscle heavy hide.heavy bone..heavy critter.thats gonna want to kill you if you wound it...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Vince Warde wrote 8 weeks 4 days ago

I don't think you are going to stop a grizzly, brown or polar bear with any handgun unless you take out the brain or central nervous system. That said, my thoughts, for what they are worth, is that first and foremost you need to be able to hit the target. As long as the round has the ability to penetrate the skull. I would choose what I could shoot well.

Most of us spend more time shooting autos than revolvers. If you want to use a semi-auto that handles like your 9mm or .45, you are pretty much limited to a 10mm Glock or 1911. Yes, I know you could carry a Desert Eagle in .44 Magnum, but it is so big and heavy that it might be just as east to carry a long gun - which is probably the best way to go anyway...... but then again, there was that guy who stopped one by emptying a magazine of 230gs FMJs, so it comes back to putting at least one round in the right place.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post an Answer